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Programs Is math & physics undergrad to mech eng phd possible?

  1. Aug 18, 2008 #1
    Hi all, long time reader first time poster

    I am in a bit of a dilemma I am a physics and math major who wants to be a mechanical research engineer. My end goal is to pursue a PhD in mechanical engineering with a specialty in energy. My problem is education is fully funded by my physics mentor and I would not be able to attend school otherwise. I am a second degree student returning to college so financial aid is out. How much of a disadvantage would it be for me to apply to a PhD program in mech engineering with a math and physics degree?

    Second question is there a physics equivalent of the mechanical engineer? I really love the broad scope of the field and being able to do research of that flavor really appeals to me in comparison to pure physics research. I want to create more so than answer a question but a nice hybrid job would be nice. I am asking a lot but a role with theoretical, experimental and engineering aspects would be nice.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 18, 2008 #2
    I've seen B.S applied physics to aerospace M.S, so don't think it is impossible
  4. Aug 18, 2008 #3
    Yeah, i think in interdisciplinary fields like aerospace engineering or biomedical engineering.
  5. Aug 18, 2008 #4
    But am I out of luck for mechanical specifically. That is the specifc branch I want with a focus on energy. I have been looking at degree requirements and I see mechancial doesn't take much beyond the your general base physics course.

    Is there equivalent branch of physics that can studies simalar things as a phd mech engineer. Physics seems to be all quantum based where as engineering is more classical. I like the fact that an engineer can build something but a physicist cannot.
  6. Aug 18, 2008 #5
    Well, you can't say that a physicist can't build something (mechanical).....it depends on the individual.
    But regarding to the lectures you are right.

    Technical mechanics is taught in engineering and (theoretical) mechanics is taught in physics.
    I don't know how hard the transition is.

    But in the country i live, there is no way you can enter ME with a bachelor in physics.
    Look for the regulations of the master programmes.
  7. Aug 18, 2008 #6
    I dont know about a PhD but probably for a MS. I think a lot of it depends on the courses you have taken. You will need a good knowledge of thermo(macro not micro) and fluid systems, statics and dynamics, and solid mechanics including failure theory. If there are any requirements you wont meet its for solid mechanics as physics doesn't really touch on any of it since its 95% empirical.
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